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Win It! China Glaze + Hunger Games Nail Lacquer Collection!

Win It! China Glaze + Hunger Games Nail Lacquer Collection!

Two lucky readers will each win a set of China Glaze’s Capitol Colours collection, which includes twelve nail lacquers inspired by The Hunger Games.  This giveaway is open to U.S. readers only.  Simply use the widget below to enter this giveaway…


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Win It! Urban Decay Naked 2 Eyeshadow Palette!

Win It! Urban Decay Naked 2 Eyeshadow Palette!

This giveaway features the latest neutral palette from Urban Decay: Naked 2, which features a double-sided brush along with twelve eyeshadows. Simply use the widget below to enter this giveaway…


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Win It! 20 NYX Cream Eyeshadows!

Win It! 20 NYX Cream Eyeshadows!

One lucky reader will receive every shade of NYX Cream Shadow–that’s twenty in total–for a total prize value of $100. These were recently released and come in a tube with a doe-foot applicator in a variety of shades. This giveaway is only open to U.S. readers. Simply use the widget below to enter this giveaway…


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Win It! MAC Pearlglide Intense Eyeliners!

Win It! MAC Pearlglide Intense Eyeliners!

This giveaway features the seven Pearlglide Intense Eyeliners released with MAC’s Vera Collection. Simply use the widget below to enter this giveaway…


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Complexion SOS: Skin Brightening Solutions

By Angela, Cosmetic Chemist

One of the leading brains behind beauty, Angela is an industry-renowned Cosmetic Chemist with over 11 years training and experience in developing cosmetics and toiletries. Having been immersed in the wondrous beauty world from an early age, she was instantly captivated by the rituals, the artistry and the allure. This initial intrigue soon developed into an unequivocal beauty obsession partly fuelled by teenage skin dilemmas but also stemming from a deep seated creativity and desire for self expression. This was quickly followed by a behind the scenes role in new product development where she formulated make up and skin care for an array of global brands.

Still not content with the industry offerings, especially those for women of colour, she still indulges herself with customised formulations to suit her specific beauty needs! Despite her wealth of scientific knowledge Angela takes what she calls a “feelosophical” approach to the industry. So whilst analysing ingredients and technologies, addressing safety fears and generally aiming to reveal the truth she never loses sight of the one essential thing about beauty and that is appreciating how it simply makes you feel! Check out her blog Beauty Feelosophy!


NARS Orgasm Illuminator

Complexion SOS: Skin Brightening Solutions

As the days grow shorter, the nights grow longer, and the  sun becomes but a distant memory, the skin can start to look a little lackluster.  For many of us around the globe, especially women of colour, maintaining a bright complexion, combating hyperpigmentation, and maintaining an even skin tone is a problem all year round!

There are many lightening, brightening and illuminating products out there, but here are just a few of my top solutions for getting through the dull winter months:

Exfoliate but don’t over do it!

One of the easiest and quickest ways to rejuvenate the skin is to remove some of the outermost skin cells that make up the surface of the skin. This also helps to clear hyperpigmentation and speed up the turnover of new skin cells being produced.

Skin takes up to 24 days to create new surface cells, which are, by this time dead and rich in keratin, then about three days for these skin cells to naturally shed. An at home microdermabrasion once a week like Kiehl’s Epidermal Retexturising Microdermabrasion ($41.00) will help to achieve instant radiance (I get compliments on my skin every time I use it!). The scrub uses fine particles of alumina as the main exfoliant along with diatomaceous earth, combined in a creamy emollient base to prevent it feeling too harsh or drying out the skin.

However as easy and amazing as it is, it is still important to remember that those dead skin cells are still there for a reason:  to protect your skin from the elements! Don’t over do it and always make sure you moisturize and use sunscreen after you exfoliate, especially if you suffer from dry skin or sensitive skin!

Vitamin C boost!

Vitamin C is an effective ingredient for brightening the skin and reducing hyperpigmentation. However, it quickly breaks down when used in certain formulations, therefore adding the pure powder yourself will ensure you get the real benefits.

Many people rave about Philosophy’s Turbo Booster C Powder ($35.00) which is (nearly) pure ascorbic acid, which is the stabilized powder form of Vitamin C.  A cheaper way to get your fix is from your local health food store where you will also find Ascorbic Acid powder ($6.95). Dissolve a small amount every day in water, add a bit of glycerine if you can find it in your local chemist as otherwise it can be a bit tingly, then apply directly to the face or with your moisturiser or serum. Be on the look out for 100% ascorbic acid without fillers though!  It is a great antioxidant that helps to protect the skin but that is whole other post in itself!

Fake it with illuminators and highlighters!

Adding a touch of pearl to your bare skin, mixed with foundation, or on key areas of the face to capture the light is a quick-fix way to bring your complexion to life.

For an all-over radiance, NARS Orgasm Illuminator ($30.00) is the type of product that’s great to use even in the day time. I use it mixed in my foundation and on a dull, sleep-deprived day, this is my saving grace. The great thing about this is that it works on all skin types. Products like MAC Strobe Cream or Benefit That Gal or Girl Meets Pearl are great on fair skins but on darker skin barely make a difference.

To enhance contours, an old favorite of mine is Benefit Moon Beam ($26.00)! In the beginning, I wasn’t sure the color, looking at the bottle, would work well for darker skin, but it does and it is a true classic–again great on all skin tones! Other highly recommended products are NARS Copacabana, but this is only really good for the night and has to be used very carefully on dark skin tones to avoid looking like a ghost!

Glow from within!

No discussion on complexion would be complete without a mention about diet and lifestyle so three important ingredients are vitamins (especially B, C and E), water, and sleep!

3 Indian Lip Products for Soft, Lush Lips on Valentine’s Day

By Mehak Sagar, 24, India, Global Contributor

Mehak is 24-years old and a number-crunching economist from India. When she’s not analyzing data, she’s analyzing beauty, which is where her real passion lies. She loves blush and the color peach, and together, the two give her unparalleled happiness (hence her blog, Peaches and Blush). Aside from beauty, she loves food, shoes, traveling, dancing, and painting. She has an unhealthy obsession with chocolate cookies, lip balms, her three-year-old niece, and planning her upcoming wedding. Mehak lives with a joint family, which means 13 people in a single house, but she says it just means there is more makeup to go around!


Lakme Lip Love Conditioner

3 Indian Lip Products for Soft, Lush Lips on Valentine’s Day

Let’s face it:  most men hate oodles of lipstick, or at least my man does. So with Valentine’s Day around the corner, it’s essential to stock up on subtle lip products that work well for date nights! Here are three Indian lip products for soft, lush lips on Valentine’s Day.

Lakme Lip Love Lip Conditioners (Rs 225 or $4.50): These lip conditioners were made for Valentine’s Day! They come in adorable heart-shaped pots and give a juicy,wet look to the lips. While they won’t heal extremely chapped lips, they ensure your pout is drenched in subtle color and stays hydrated for those Valentine Day Date Nights. My favorites of the Lakme Lip love Conditioners are Flirt, a bright fuchsia pink, and Charmer, a bright coral orange. They also come in two other colors: Hottie and Siren. I recommend you stock up on all four of these! If you want an overload of the cheesiness factor, then also take a look at Lakme’s Lip Love Lipstick which come inscribed with word love on them.

Boutique Bio Berry Plumping Lip Balm (Rs 99 or $2.00) | The Biotique Bio Berry plumping lip balm claims to be a ‘medicinal product’ but one look at the pretty watermelon inside of it, and medicinal is the last word you would think of. It is mostly sheer, giving a light watermelon tint to the lips and keeps lips hydrated and soft throughout the day. While I am not a big fan of the slightly cough syrup like smell, it does give a fuller pout to the lips and makes sure your lips stay hydrated throughout the day!

Colorbar Coral Crush Lip Pot (Rs 495 or $10.00) | The Colorbar Lip Pots are kind of like liquid lipsticks. Similar to NYX Lip Lacquer Pots but much more pigmented, they last an immensely long time, give mostly opaque coverage, and have a cushioned feel on the lips. Coral Crush is an earthy terracotta orange, which looks great on warm skin tones and is a must for me. They come in a range of other colors like Cherry Pop, which is a deep red, and Pink Velvet, which is a plummy pink .

See more photos & swatches!